With so many restaurants and local food artisans, being a foodie in Atlanta is easy!
Next month, I will welcome over 8,000 of my food and nutrition colleagues to downtown Atlanta for the 2014 Food & Nutrition Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center. In the spirit of southern hospitality, I’m sharing some of my favorite Atlanta spots and asked some of my local registered dietitian friends to join in too. You don’t have to be a dietitian to enjoy these places… so read on.
My favorite new-ish place is Bartaco. Less than 2 miles from the conference center, this Mexican-themed restaurant has one of the best patios in town, great drinks and some very tasty tacos and sides! A bonus: the majority of the menu is gluten-free and you honestly feel like you’re at the beach. Take a cab or Uber there. Just a block from there is The Optimist. Mmmm… It’s known for the seafood, drinks and a great atmosphere.
If you are here on a Saturday, check out one of our neighborhood farmers markets for some Georgia grown produce and goodies. I took the picture above at the Freedom Farmers Market. Isn’t it gorgeous!? A bit farther north, check out the Peachtree Road Farmers Market or Piedmont Green Market for breakfast or lunch. If you stop by the Piedmont market, take your running shoes as Piedmont Park is the best in the city.
October is a great month to visit Atlanta. It’s usually sunny and comfortable during the day with a bit of a chill at night. Take a break during the day with a quick walk through Centennial Olympic Park which is just across from the conference center.
Downtown is being revitalized. There are plenty of quick lunch spots downtown – just walk a couple blocks or try Fresh2Order next door in the CNN Center food court. If you can steal away for lunch one day, go to Star Provisions. Treat yourself to fresh salads, sandwiches and irresistible baked goods. It’s just over a couple miles away in West Midtown so a quick cab ride will get you there. I love how fresh everything is there.
Venture out for dinner. Atlanta is packed with unique restaurants to satisfy any palate. One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants is Agave in Cabbagetown. They serve “eclectic southwestern cuisine” and an impressive array of tequilas. Nearby, you’ll find a cluster of memorable restaurants in Inman Park including intimate BoccaLupo for Italian American cuisine and cozy Wisteria for Southern cuisine. Walk around and people watch at the Decatur square and explore the many restaurants including Cakes & Ale, Cafe no. 249 or Chai Pani.
And if you’re coming to Atlanta for some southern or soul food, there’s plenty. Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint downtown is the perfect place to enjoy some soul food and live music. But Busy Bee Cafe, Mary Mac’s and The Colonnade are Atlanta institutions. You’ll need a car or cab to get to these. In fact, having a car makes being in Atlanta a whole lot easier.
If you decide to stay in Midtown, enjoy the many patios and rooftops for dining and people watching like the one at Cafe Intermezzo. Let’s see what else… skip The Underground. Seriously, don’t go there. And if you have any time before or after FNCE, consider a trip up to the North Georgia Mountains. It’s simply beautiful this time of year. You can hike, visit a winery, pick apples and eat fried apple pies!
I hope this helps you plan your trip to the A… but there’s more! Along with Food & Nutrition mag, I’ve pinned some of the best spots around the city on our Top Atlanta Restaurants and Things to Do Pinterest board. Let me know what you think!
When I got this idea, I thought it would be cool to do a round of the best places to eat and hangout according to local RDs. Check out their favorite spots below:
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